Lockheed Martin's F-16V, the most advanced version of the US Air Force F-16 fighter jet, took to the skies for the first time with a new advanced radar this week.

The company completed the maiden flight of its F-16V Viper on Oct. 16, according to an Oct. 21 statement. This marks the first time an F-16 has flown with Northrop Grumman’s advanced APG-83 Aactive Eelectronically Sscanned Aarray (AESA) radar, which will deliver "a quantum leap in capability" for the plane.  

"This flight marks a historic milestone in the evolution of the F-16," said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group, according to the statement. "The new F-16V configuration includes numerous enhancements designed to keep the F-16 at the forefront of international security, strengthening its position as the world's foremost combat-proven 4th Generation fighter aircraft."

Lockheed is offering the F-16V as an option for both new production F-16s and F-16 upgrades.

The Viper's advanced avionics configuration also includes a new cockpit Center Pedestal Display; a modernized mission computer; a high-capacity Ethernet data bus; and several other mission system enhancements, according to the statement.

Nothrop's new AESA radar provides advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground radar capability.

Email: lseligman@defensenews.com

Twitter: @laraseligman

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